It’s no secret that it’s been getting harder and harder to get into the UTMB races over the years. It’s hard to get the points, then you have to get lucky in the lottery. There’s been a 68% increase in applications just over the last 3 years. For this year’s races there were more than 26,000 entries for the 10,000 places across all the races.
The UTMB believes that having to get so many points isn’t good for runner health and they need to keep on doing it year after year to keep their points. This is because most have to keep applying because the lottery is so strict.
The solution, UTMB believes, is to lower the number of points required to enter the lottery, and to make the lottery more flexible. This should come as good news to many runners!
The current system requires:
15 points collected over 2 years, via a maximum of 3 races for the UTMB
8 points collected over 2 years, via a maximum of 2 races for the TDS
8 points collected over 2 years, via a maximum of 2 races for the CCC
6 points collected over 2 years, via a maximum of 2 years for the OCC
The new requirements for 2020 will be:
10 points collected over 2 years, via a maximum of 2 races for the UTMB
8 points collected over 2 years, via a maximum of 2 races for the TDS (no change)
6 points collected over 2 years, via a maximum of 2 races for the CCC
4 points collected over 2 years, via a maximum of 2 races for the OCC
So from next year you can get your points by only doing 1 big race per year.
And the lottery system will now become more flexible. Runners who don’t get in on their first attempt in the lottery will have better chances of being selected in following years by getting an additional ticket. If you’re unsuccessful a second time, you get another ticket, and so on. The idea is that the probability of being selected is therefore proportional to the number of times a runner has failed to gain entry in the previous years. Runners can also decide to apply for a difference race each year – you don’t have to keep going for the same one. For example you can go for the UTMB the first year, then for the TDS the next year, or take a break, maintaining your extra ticket. This is good news for pregnant women, who will be able to maintain their number of tickets while taking a break.
In addition to this change to the lottery system, from 2021 runners can collect ‘running stones’ by finishing a limited number of race selected by UTMB. These ‘running stones’ will be recorded on a database and when they have collected an agreed number they can get a direct entry into a UTMB race of their choice, bypassing the lottery altogether. If they don’t have enough ‘running stones’ they can still trade them in for more tickets in the lottery.
The number of stones needed for UTMB will be 18, for the TDS and CCC will be 15, and for the OCC it will be 12. The stones will be available from the ByUTMB races (1 ITRA point = 3 stones) and UTWT races (1 ITRA point = 1 stone). These stones will be available from January 2020 and we will bring you more details as we get them.
So this is pretty big news. From 2020 you will need fewer points, first timers will have a greater chance in the lottery and you will be able to collect ‘running stones’ to bypass the lottery.